People other than a dog owner can be responsible for a dog bite. Let me explain. In Connecticut, not only the owner but the keeper of the dog can be held responsible. What’s a keeper? It’s actually anyone who’s responsible for the dog at that point in time. So if you entrust your dog to a dog sitter, to a dog walker, to your neighbor, to a relative – they’re the keeper. If your dog is on loan to someone, meaning you’re on vacation, that person becomes the keeper. Connecticut has strict liability when it comes to dog bites and that means that any owner or any keeper of the dog when that dog bite occurs is strictly liable to you, the injured person, as a result of that dog bite. Now, there are two exceptions to strict liability. Under Connecticut law, the exceptions are if your are a trespasser, in other words, you are on someone else’s property without their consent and we’re not talking about an illegal action, just simply being on someone’s property without their consent. So if you happen to be walking across the neighbor’s property, without that neighbor saying “Sure, you can do that.” That’s considered a trespass. The other situation, the other exception to the statute is if you are tormenting the dog – tormenting, teasing, annoying, and harassing the dog. That law says that if you’ve done something like that then the dog and its owner or keeper should not be held strictly liable for your injury.
This informational blog post was brought to you by Marc N. Needelman, an experienced Hartford, Connecticut Personal Injury Lawyer.